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Can Coffee, Tea Protect the Liver From 'Western' Diet?

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 13, 2017 – Regularly drinking coffee or herbal tea may help prevent chronic liver disease, new research suggests. Scientists in the Netherlands found these popular beverages might help thwart liver fibrosis, or stiffness and scarring due to chronic inflammation. "Over the past decades, we gradually deviated towards more unhealthy habits, including a sedentary lifestyle, decreased physical activity, and consumption of a 'happy diet,' " said study lead author Dr. Louise Alferink. This "happy diet" – commonly known as the Western diet – is rich in sugary, processed foods that lack nutrients. This unhealthy way of eating has contributed to the obesity epidemic and a surge in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which occurs when excessive amounts of fat accumulate in the liver, said Alferink, a researcher at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre in Rotterdam. To investigate the ... Read more

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Energy Drinks May Make Rare Heart Condition More Dangerous

Posted 9 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 – Energy drinks can be deadly for people with a certain genetic heart condition, a small study warns. Called long QT syndrome (LQTS), the condition affects 1 in 2,000 people and can cause a rapid, irregular heartbeat that can sometimes be fatal. "The potential cardiovascular risk of energy drinks continues to emerge as an important public health issue," said lead investigator Christopher Semsarian, a professor at the University of Sydney in Australia. "The population most at risk is teenagers and young adults, representing the population these drinks are most heavily marketed towards. Since energy drinks are widely available to all ages and over the counter, it is important that cardiovascular effects of these drinks are investigated," he added. Previous research has shown that energy drinks can cause serious heart problems in people without genetic heart disease, ... Read more

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Need More Zzzzz's?

Posted 25 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 – A good night's sleep is often elusive, but there are things you can do to boost the odds of getting some quality shuteye, sleep experts say. The first is to have regular bed and wake times, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital sleep doctors Dr. Daniel Barone and Dr. Andrew Westwood. The doctors suggested going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning, even on weekends and vacation days. That's because changes between workdays and days off may impair your sleep and how you feel during the daytime. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, they advised. Instead of coffee, tea, cola and chocolate, choose water, seltzer, unsweetened decaffeinated herbal tea and other caffeine-free beverages. It's also important to eat a healthy diet and be physically active. "Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet that ... Read more

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Do Energy Drinks Plus Booze Equal More Injuries?

Posted 21 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 21, 2017 – Mixing caffeine-loaded energy drinks and booze could be a recipe for trouble. That's the word from a new study that says the popular party duo ups the odds someone will get hurt. Researchers in Canada analyzed results of 13 prior studies. Most reported a higher rate of injuries when alcohol was paired with an energy drink like Red Bull or Monster Energy compared to drinking alcohol alone, they said. "Current research generally supports a relationship between consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks and an increased risk of injury," said study lead author Audra Roemer, a graduate student with the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Besides falls, car accidents and such, the researchers looked at suicidal behavior and violence. Based on the study results, Roemer said injury risk – intentional or accidental – could be several times higher for the ... Read more

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Kids With ADHD Make 6.1 Million Doctor Visits a Year in U.S.: CDC

Posted 26 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 26, 2017 – Kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder account for more than 6 million physician office visits a year in the United States, say U.S. health officials. An average 6.1 million trips to a doctor, pediatrician or psychiatrist by children aged 4 to 17 in 2013 involved treatment for diagnosed ADHD, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number represents 6 percent of all kids' visits to the doctor in 2013, said senior author Jill Ashman. She is a statistician with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The percentage has increased from a decade earlier, when 4 percent of physician visits were related to ADHD treatment, she said. "It has increased," Ashman said. "It went from 4 million to 6 million visits per year." ADHD is characterized by inattention, overactivity and impulsivity that can ... Read more

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Can Coffee Perk Up Heart Health, Too?

Posted 16 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 16, 2017 – The caffeine in your morning cup of joe may do more than jolt you awake – it may also help dampen the type of inflammation that's linked to heart disease risk factors, a new study suggests. Researchers found that an inflammatory mechanism was dialed up in certain older adults, but not others. When it was highly activated, people often had high blood pressure and stiff arteries. But in lab experiments, there was evidence that caffeine blocked this inflammatory process. No one, however, is saying that morning cup of coffee is a magic bullet against aging. Still, the findings might help explain why past studies have linked higher caffeine intake to a longer life, said lead researcher David Furman, of Stanford University School of Medicine. The human body has "probably hundreds of pathways" that contribute to chronic inflammation and various diseases, according to ... Read more

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Health Tip: Preventing Tooth Discoloration

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

-- From the foods you eat to habits such as smoking, many factors contribute to tooth discoloration. The Cleveland Clinic suggests these preventive tips: Cut back on coffee. Quit smoking. Floss and brush your teeth regularly. See a dental hygienist twice each year. Visit your dentist if discoloration doesn't ease after changing habits, or if you have other symptoms, such as bleeding gums. Read more

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Polar Vortex Takes Aim at U.S.

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2016 – A polar vortex is expected to bring extreme cold and winds to the central and eastern United States this week, and millions of Americans are being warned to guard against frostbite and hypothermia. Wind chills could fall to 30 to 40 degrees below zero in some areas. In such temperature extremes, exposed skin can develop frostbite in as little as 10 minutes, according to AccuWeather. Hypothermia is another danger, especially for the homeless, the elderly and people who work outdoors. This occurs when your body temperature falls dangerously low, resulting in shivering, confusion and drowsiness. Each year, hypothermia kills more than 1,000 Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "It is important to take measures to stay warm, paying special attention to the head and scalp [as well as the nose, neck, and ears], which are often exposed ... Read more

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Sugary, Caffeinated Drinks Could Cost You Sleep

Posted 10 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 – People who get little sleep are likely to drink significantly more sugar-sweetened and caffeinated beverages, a new study finds. The findings suggest that improving sleep could help reduce people's sugar intake, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco. They analyzed data from nearly 19,000 American adults. Those who regularly slept five or fewer hours a night drank 21 percent more sugar-sweetened, caffeinated beverages like soda and energy drinks than those who slept seven to eight hours a night. People who regularly slept six hours a night consumed 11 percent more of the drinks than those who got more sleep. Researchers said they didn't know whether sugary drinks cause people to sleep less, or whether sleep deprivation leads them to consume more sugar and caffeine to stay awake. Previous studies suggest both could be true. ... Read more

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Coffee's Impact a Matter of Genes?

Posted 21 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 21, 2016 – Why can some people enjoy a cup of coffee just before bed and sleep peacefully, while others lie awake for hours? A new study suggests genes may hold the answer. "Each of us could be potentially responding to caffeine differently, and it's possible that those differences can extend beyond that of caffeine," said study author Marilyn Cornelis. She is an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. In earlier research, Cornelis linked variations in genes to patterns of coffee consumption. In the new study, she looked for connections between these gene variations and chemicals that appear in the blood after people consume caffeine. She found that gene variants linked to lower levels of caffeine chemicals – which suggest faster caffeine metabolism – are the same variants previously ... Read more

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Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes

Posted 21 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Eating a Mediterranean diet and consuming caffeine may lower your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, according to a new study. Previous research has shown that a Mediterranean diet – high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, healthy fats and fish – benefits the heart and lowers cancer risk. But there has been little research on whether it helps protect against eye diseases such as AMD, the researchers noted. Using questionnaires, the researchers assessed the diets of 883 people, aged 55 and older, in Portugal. Of those, 449 had early stage AMD and 434 did not have the eye disease. Closely following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of AMD, and eating lots of fruit was especially beneficial. The researchers also found that people who consumed high levels of caffeine ... Read more

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No Link Between Caffeine, Irregular Heartbeat in Heart Failure Patient Study

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Contrary to common belief, coffee doesn't seem to increase the risk of irregular heartbeats in people with heart failure, according to a small Brazilian study. "Our data reassures that most patients with heart disease might drink moderate doses of caffeine-rich beverages with no major risks," said lead researcher Dr. Luis Rohde. He's from the division of cardiology at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre. Caffeine-rich beverages have long been suspected of causing several heart-related symptoms, such as palpitations or rapid or irregular heartbeats, Rohde said. "Because of this assumption, counseling to reduce or avoid caffeine consumption is still widely recommended in clinical practice by most physicians for patients with any heart disease," he said. But Rohde's team found no link between caffeine and abnormal heartbeats in the short ... Read more

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Health Tip: Avoid These 5 Pre-Bedtime Don'ts

Posted 2 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Your habits just before you slip into bed could be sabotaging your night of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says do NOT: Take any over-the-counter medications that contain pseudoephedrine, found in common cold medicines, which can keep you awake. Opt for a nighttime formula that may help you feel drowsy. Text, watch TV or spend time on the computer shortly before bed. Take a hot shower or bath just before bed. It's best to do so about an hour before you plan to sleep, as that gives your body temperature time to drop again. Indulge in a greasy, fattening, salty bedtime snack, which can be stimulating and trigger nightmares. Drink caffeine beyond the morning, as it can stay in your system for as long as 12 hours. Read more

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Savor Your Coffee -- and a Bright Smile

Posted 9 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2016 – Coffee may stain your teeth, but its health benefits outweigh that problem, dental experts say. Research suggests that java may help protect the liver; reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes; boost metabolism; and keep your brain sharp, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. There's also early evidence that coffee may help protect teeth by preventing bone loss in the jaw, noted the academy, which has members in the United States and Canada. "Coffee in moderation has many nutritional benefits," said Nasir Bashirelahi in an academy news release. He's a professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. But if the thought of stained teeth concerns you, there are things you can do to minimize or prevent discoloration, the academy says. For instance, sip through a straw to reduce the amount of coffee that touches your teeth. And rinse ... Read more

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Coffee Cravings May Spring From Your DNA

Posted 25 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2016 – Anybody up for a steaming cup of Joe? Turns out your DNA may hold the answer. New research suggests that your genes influence how much coffee you drink. Researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 1,200 people in Italy, who were asked how much coffee they drank each day. Those with a gene variant called PDSS2 drank one cup less a day on average than those without the variation, the investigators found. Research involving more than 1,700 people in the Netherlands yielded similar findings, according to the study authors. The findings suggest that PDSS2 reduces cells' ability to break down caffeine. That means it stays in the body longer. The upshot: People with the gene variant don't need as much coffee to get the same caffeine hit as those without it, the researchers said. "The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to ... Read more

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